Sunday, February 5, 2017

Secret Shopper

For this assignment, I visited a public library that I had been a patron to before but had never really asked for help. I was welcomed by the staff at the information desk, located right as you walk through the doors, in the center of the lobby. All the staff had bright faces and were ready to help. I asked where I could find young adult books and was pointed to the Teen Space, which was located in a room about a few feet behind the information desk.

Entering the Teen Space, I was greeted by a friendly librarian and she asked what she could help me with. I told her that I was trying to find a book that had similar realistic elements to Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen. She then asked me what other titles I had read, so I listed a few like All Good Children by Dayna Ingram, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. She showed me a list YA books that had won awards. The list was compiled of books that had won the Michael L. Printz award. I recognized a book on the list called I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, which I had just read a few months ago. Jandy Nelson's book was the 2015 Printz Award winner. A book that caught my attention was Asking for it by Louise O'Neill. This book is about Emma Donovan, who wakes up outside her house after a night of partying. Emma has no idea how she got there and no recollection of the night before. Soon after, videos and pictures start popping up on the internet depicting her being raped. She gets zero support from her small Irish hometown and has to figure things out on her own, and if she was really "asking for it" (Not that anyone is every asking but she just needs to know, ya know!?).

The librarian also showed me some readalikes off of Goodreads:

  • The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  • Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
  • Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
I also told her that I had an interest in Sci-fi/fantasy books, and the last fantasy title I read was The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. Based off that book, the librarian suggested the third book of the series, The Warrior Heir and she suggested The Revenge of the Shadow King by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis. This is the first book of the series and it tells the story of four friends who call themselves the Grey Griffins, and they realize weird happenings all over their town as dangerous creatures from their card game come to life.

Overall, I liked the results given by the Teen Space librarian, and I had a hard time "playing dumb" because I already knew how to find books similar to my last read but I liked having the experience of being the patron. I felt like the librarian knew what she was doing, and she could relate because she liked the some of the same titles that I had already read. Glad to have had the opportunity!


  1. Hello Annette! It sounds like the librarian you interacted with was very knowledgeable on what resources to use and how to best conduct a reader's advisory interview. It's pretty great to see examples of excellent patron service so that we can follow in their footsteps at our own libraries.

    1. Julie,

      I had a very good experience. I felt very at home during my visit, and I am glad that you stopped by to comment!

  2. Annette,

    Glad you had a good experience and that you walked away with some good book recommendations! The librarian that helped me didn't walk me over to the teen section, but now I kind of wish that she did. It sounds like you got a few good book recommendations that way, and now I think I might use that tactic if I get people asking for reader's advisory help...on top of using Novelist, Goodreads or Amazon.

    1. Kate,

      Thanks for stopping by to read! I got some very good recommendations, and it was neat to see the staff picks. Kind of made my experience more "down to earth"!

  3. The displays at this library sound great! As does your experience there!